Mainardo IV (1238-1295)


Mainardo IVof Gorizia, son of Mainardo III and Adelaide of Tyrol, born around 1238, spent his adolescence as a hostage, together with his younger brother Alberto, of the Archbishop of Salzburg, with whom his grandfather and father had been forced to come to terms to conclude the dispute that had opposed them. He remained a prisoner for seven years, until 1259, when Mainardo III had been dead for a year. From this experience the young count drew a deep contempt for the ecclesiastical authorities, especially in cases where spiritual power was combined with the exercise of temporal power. He was repeatedly excommunicated in the course of his action to secure his lordship over the Tyrol, which he inherited through his mother from his grandfather, Count Albert III. From 1271 the extensive possessions of the family were divided into two counties, and while his brother Albert reigned over the county of Gorizia with the title of Count of Gorizia and Tyrol, Mainardo, IV of Gorizia and II of Tyrol, he ruled Tyrol as Count of Tyrol and Gorizia.

The marriage of the young count of Tyrol at the age of 21 to the widow of Emperor Konrad IV, Elisabeth Wittelsbach, increased his prestige, wealth and power. His good relations with Emperor Rudolf II of Habsburg, who became his father-in-law, further strengthened his position, and in 1286 Mainhard was able to acquire the duchy of Carinthia and become prince of the empire. Through diplomacy or the use of force, Mainardo effectively created the Tyrol, constituting a political entity capable of competing on equal terms with the surrounding regions. A capable and resolute statesman, he was able to triumph over his adversaries and secure the loyalty of his subjects, until he achieved his goal, as the chronicler Goswin of Montemaria noted: "to raise the county of Tyrol, the smallest, above all others. "

At the death of Mainardo II of Tyrol in October 1295, the Lordship of Tyrol was a reality.